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Tour Easy Rack Mounting Hack

Photo 1 - Spherical Washer

Photo 1 - Spherical Washer in Action

A recumbent’s comfy seat doesn’t have a seat post, so standard rear racks don’t fit very well. The usual solution involves nylon cable ties and some cursing, but that just didn’t appeal to me. Here’s how I mounted an ordinary JandD rear rack on our Tour Easy ‘bents.

Because both the angle and position of the seat support struts changes change with each seat adjustment, you can’t simply bolt the rack to a plate across the struts. This is a job for spherical washers, as shown in Photo 1, which allow both angular adjustment and rigid mounting.

Photo 2 - Rack Mount Parts

Photo 2 - Rack Mount Parts

Even if you’ve never heard of a spherical washer before, your bike parts box may already have some: one old brake pad provides the two washers you’ll need for one rack. Each washer has one convex and one concave piece, which you must assemble with the curved surfaces nested together and the flat sides out. You need one washer on each side of the angled plate. The six spherical washers in Photo 2 show the details.

You’ll also need a ¼x½-inch rectangular aluminum bar long enough to span the seat support struts just in front of the rack, three 10-32 or 5-mm stainless-steel machine screws and washers, and a pair of padded tubing clamps. You can get all that from your favorite home-repair store.

Drill a hole in the middle of the bar and a matching hole in the middle of the rack’s front face. I used a 10-32 tap to put threaded holes in the rod, but you can drill clearance holes and use nuts.

Photo 3 - Mounting Screw

Photo 3 - Mounting Screw

Put a spherical washer on a screw, insert the screw through the rack, add another washer, put the screw into the crossbar, align the crossbar on the seat struts, and finger-tighten the screw. Photo 3 shows the screw from the top of the rack.

Slip the tubing clamps on the seat struts as shown in Photo 4, mark the clamp openings on the crossbar, remove the crossbar, and drill the two holes.

Photo 4 - Bottom View

Photo 4 - Bottom View

Reassemble everything, apply Loctite to the threads, and tighten the screws. Remember to loosen all three screws before you adjust your seat position!

I wrote this a while back for the late, lamented Recumbent Cyclist News, but it never got into print. I found the files while looking for something else; seems like this might be useful to somebody.

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